Headframe Stories

The Original Mine Yard

An International Festival Destination

The Original Mine Yard in Butte, MontanaThe Original Mine Yard in Butte, Montana

A shining example of adaptive reuse in Butte stands in the middle of Uptown at the Original Mine Yard. 

Thousands of people dance together, swaying to the music during the annual music festivals that found their home in our mining town. 

In its current state, it’s hard to believe that a location such as this was once a place where men gathered to put in the daily grind. The steel headframe that used to mean harsh working conditions is now used in celebration for weddings, concerts and so much more. 

“We probably do 20 to 25 events up there throughout the year,” noted Bob Lazzari with the Butte Parks and Recreation. 

Rebuilding of the Original began in 2007 led by Butte-Silver Bow County in coordination with the Environmental Protection Agency. It started after Butte was selected to host the National Folk Festival. 

Things like a new roof on the hoist house and converting the headframe to a proper stage space transformed this once desolate space into a known location that hosts more than 165,000 people annually. 

Images courtesy of the World Museum of Mining

Now, the Original illuminates the night as one of the few headframes decorated in red lights. It’s an effort to highlight the remaining bits of Butte heritage that dot our landscape – the headframes that helped us light up the world. 

“The Original Mine Yard is now a crown jewel of the city,” said Jon Sesso in the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) document. A re-imagination of what Butte’s historical assets can become – a symbol of the future. 

Much like the transformation of the Original Mine Yard and electricity across the globe, good things take time to craft. Our Original X Rye Whiskey rested for ten years before being released to the public. In honor of raw effort and patience, enjoy it in celebration for weddings, concerts and so much more – or sip it under the Original headframe during the next big event. 

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